Dot’s Downtown Beat

DOT’S BEAT: Town Clerks of Central Vermont

By Dot Helling When Eva Morse was town clerk of Calais, the office was located in a small addition and sun porch of her house off a dirt road near Maple Corner. Inside, you had to squeeze onto a small antique table to do title searches. The land records were stored in a very old […]

DOT’S BEAT: The Mystery and Might of Pumpkins

DOT’S BEAT: The Mystery and Might of Pumpkins

By Dot Helling Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. In addition to the mystery, whimsy, and costumes, I give it the credit for bringing me around to like the color orange—from mango, peach, and apricot to melon, tangerine, pumpkin, and carrot. This time of year we are immersed in a palette of oranges as […]

DOT’S BEAT: Why all the Fuss about House Color?

By Dot Helling I live on East State Street just outside Montpelier’s Historic District. When I bought my house 25 years ago, I negotiated my way through multiple steps to approve the updates and changes to my 1800s house, including approval of a non-traditional paint color: plum (some call it the “purple house”). At that […]

DOT’S BEAT: Looking Forward and Back on Montpeculiar’s Eateries

by Dot Helling I grew up in the 1960s. I did not attend Goddard College, but the reasons that drew me to Central Vermont and Montpelier were similar to those that brought many students and activists to our area. Fifty years ago, Vermont became a bastion of co-op startups, organic farming, and alternative lifestyles. Last month, […]

DOT’S BEAT: To Save our Ash Trees, Cut or Treat?

by Dot Helling Shortly after I wrote a piece this spring warning about the threat of the emerald ash borer, borers were found in Montpelier near National Life. Since then our tree board and tree warden have been tirelessly working on an emerald ash borer management plan. With the help of many volunteers, their recent […]

DOT’S BEAT: Food Minstrels of Montpelier

DOT’S BEAT: Food Minstrels of Montpelier

by Dot Helling The traditional definition of a “minstrel” is a traveling medieval musician. The expanded definition includes entertainers, servants, workers, and poets.  As I walked in downtown Montpelier one day taking in the aromas and sights of our portable food carts, it came to me that these traveling Epicurean meisters are also minstrels.  They […]

DOT’S BEAT: Is Montpelier Missing in Diversity?

Is Montpelier missing in diversity? We all know that Vermont continues to be a predominantly white state and that people of color remain in the minority. In years past it was as occasional to have people of color in your community as to have non-native Vermonters here centuries ago. Thankfully we change.  But how diverse […]

DOT’S BEAT: Celebrate our Children

DOT’S BEAT: Celebrate our Children

by Dot Helling As we enjoy our July summer activities and celebrate holidays such as Independence Day, let’s also celebrate our children. While substitute teaching at the Union Elementary School this spring, I was struck by what a special place this is for kids. Few places in the world provide the environment for kids that […]

DOT’S BEAT: Saying Goodbye to a Canine or Feline Family Member

DOT’S BEAT: Saying Goodbye to a Canine or Feline Family Member

by Dot Helling The dreaded time has come—time to say goodbye to my dog, Sophie. Every time I’ve lost a pet, I’ve said, “Never again.” “Never again” will I adopt a cat or dog. “Never again” will I let a canine or feline become a part of my family. “Never again” will I allow myself […]

DOT’S BEAT: One Step Forward at a Time

by Dot Helling Each spring runners, joggers and walkers take to our roads to train for events like the Corporate Cup and the Vermont City Marathon.  Are you one of them? If not, why not? I hear many reasons for not getting out there:  “The weather is bad. My knees are bad. I’m too busy.”  […]